Catch the Wind


Book: Catch the Wind

Author: Jon Midget

Cover Illustrator: Gabrielle Ragusi

Publisher: Blazing Yucca, 2023

ISBN-13: 979-8987233917 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 8987233917 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 979-8987233900 Paperback

ISBN-10: 8987233900 Paperback

Website(s): (author)

Language level:  1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 10 and up

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: Fantasy

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     Midget, Jon.   Catch the Wind (Published in 2023 by Blazng Yucca, Layton, UT).  Damarion is a man who believes in freedom and refuses to bow down to any of the petty tyrants of Destrier and Arden.  His wife Stacia is killed by one of the tyrants, so Damarion, his daughter Elizabeth, his bravest knight Andelyn, her husband Malcom, their daughter Raya, Andelyn’s sorcerer brother Jasper , Damarion’s oldest friend Witmer (Wit), and other followers go far away into the Sylvan Mountains and found a new, peaceful kingdom called Waverly where they live in harmony with the Faerie and their queen Serena.  Damarion is reluctantly chosen as King.  Elizabeth has always been close to Raya, who is two years younger.  When the two girls discover that they can wield the magic of the forest, neither is prepared for how it will change their lives. They find themselves playing with the elements of earth and sky and toying with the powers of life and death. Elizabeth yields to temptation and becomes the evil witch Elowyn who attacks and enslaves her former friends.

     How does Elowyn treat the citizens of Waverly?  Is there anything that Raya can do to protect the kingdom?  And will Elizabeth ever return to normal, or is she lost forever?  The book was written for the author’s fifth grade students and began as a musical for a youth theater group.  In his Author’s Note, Jon Midget wrote, “I wanted messages that would resonate with my young performers.  I wanted themes that were real, meaningful, and good….And the themes mattered to them.  They related to the idea of struggling, of falling short of your hopes, and forgiving those who have hurt others….The novel was written to deal with themes and situations that are relevant to kids as they go through the tween and teenage stages of their lives.”  There are several pages of Discussion Questions at the end to help develop these messages, themes, and situations.  About halfway through the book, a separate, though loosely connected, plot appears with totally different characters involving generally a group known as the Heralds and specifically two of them, a young man named Jaren and a young woman named Seraph, but it all ties in with the story of Waverly in the last section of the book. 

     The author told me, “The novel is not explicitly religious or Christian. However, it was written for parents and teens who have grown tired of literature and media filled with content and themes that are destructive. The novel is modeled after classic stories and fairy tales that give us heroes who struggle and themes that invite us to be better than who we are.”  In addition he noted, “I have grown frustrated with the frequency I find inappropriate material in novels for kids and teenagers….I also find that many stories geared toward older kids and teens can be embedded with themes that are a bit narcissistic (‘don’t let anyone hold you back,’ ‘be true to yourself’ immediately come to mind). I wanted to have a novel with themes that hearken back to the novels that I grew up loving.  This includes sacrifice and loyalty to family.”  Catch the Wind is the first of “Three Young Adult Fantasy Novels,” the second and third of which are entitled Dragon Music (or Red Horizons, Crimson Skies), and Children of Pandora, which are patterned after such well-known works as the Chronicles of Narnia, Wrinkle in Time, and Chronicles of Prydain.

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